In hot and humid conditions the KRT riders took on their latest challenge at the 4.226km long circuit on their new 2021 machines and each found a different area to concentrate on in FP1. With some changes made between the practice sessions the KRT duo found their best pace at the right time in FP2 to set strong times and look to the next day of action with confidence.
Lowes spent some of Friday learning more about the new Ninja ZX-10RR in his first visit to Misano as a Kawasaki rider. After a steady start in the morning he worked his way to competitive pace in FP2 after choosing a different, softer, tyre option. His best lap was only bettered by one rider, who had previously tested at Misano in the off-season.
Rea spent some time in his pitbox in the morning due to issues experienced with his rear brake set-up, but after positive technical changes he was eventually firmly inside the top four places at one of his favourite WorldSBK circuits.
The KRT duo had no recent experience of the Misano WorldSBK after the cancellation of the 2020 race weekend - due to pandemic restrictions. The track has been resurfaced since the WorldSBK riders last used Misano as a race venue, with the new asphalt improving the overall riding experience.
With one day of action complete the final grid positions for Race One will be determined after FP3, during the Tissot Superpole session on Saturday 12 June. Race One will take place over 21-laps on Saturday and then the Tissot Superpole Race and Race Two will completed the Misano weekend on Sunday 30 May.
Alex Lowes, stated: “We did not test here this year but a lot of others did. We used an SC0 tyre in the morning session because in the previous two rounds we have been quite fast on this tyre choice. But at this track the SC0 seems to be spinning a bit too much so in the afternoon we made a small change on the bike, nothing really big, and used some different tyres. We made a good step compared to this morning without changing too much on the bike. There are some bumps into turn three and a little bit in the last corner where you are on the entry, but apart from this the track surface is great and the grip is better than I remember. For me, it is a very good job.”
Jonathan Rea, stated: “We have had some people in the spectator areas at this round this year and it is nice to see. Racing is nothing without the fans. In FP1 I didn’t have any rear brake and it was frustrating. I couldn’t ride in the same way and I couldn’t balance the bike in the entry to the corners. We wasted the first session trying different things but during the lunch break the guys swapped the system from bike 2 to bike 1 and directly it was better. I felt good from the first lap of FP2; the rhythm was coming. I enjoyed the circuit and I was able to understand the new rear tyre that Pirelli brought here. At the very end I also tried the new front tyre, so we have a lot of information now. In the afternoon I felt quite consistent on the tyres and felt good on the bike, so let’s see what tomorrow brings.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 11th after combined qualifying with Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 19th. Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) placed 21st and Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 22nd today.
2021 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020
2021: Races 6, Wins 4, Podiums 6, Superpoles 2
Career Race Wins: 103 (88 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 191 (149 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 29 (25 for Kawasaki)
2021: Races: 6, Wins 0, Podiums 3, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 2 (1 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 27 (7 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 1 (0 for Kawasaki)
8 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
6 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
5 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 162 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 463 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 94 – second overall